Sunday, January 08, 2012

Eureka! Goals for 2012

I was so busy in 2010, I didn't write down my goals until June. Last year, I didn't write down any at all; 2011 was like riding a tidal wave. That's not to say I didn't accomplish anything. I opened a bookstore, started a new job as assistant archivist in the Friends Historical Collection, went to England, researched my ancestors in South Carolina, and wrote 50,000 words in a month during nanowrimo. I also hurt my back, which still slows me down, lost two members of my extended family and have two more in and out of the hospital. The year was full of trials and blessings.

My main goal for 2012 was to have goals, so I can focus. I like Robert Lee Brewer's 2012 list, which includes both writing and personal goals. I sat down with pen and notebook, intent on making my own list.

And I was overwhelmed.

I've been pulled so many different directions — work, volunteering (too much), family, health — I knew my list could be too long to be helpful.

I turned the page to a blank one and thought: What if I could do anything I wanted in the coming year? I jotted down three things. I looked at those three things and had a light-bulb moment. That was my list! I felt as if a burden had been lifted off me.
Path at Woodbrooke in England

1. Finish my novel.
2. Reconcile with an estranged friend.
3. Find our Maness ancestor.

Work, survival, family crises — the "shoulds" in my life will happen. I'll do the things I have to do. Part of me said, I should work on my relationship with God, I should pay off bills, I should spend more time with family. Well, my little list is simple, and it's not.

I consider that novel my ministry and writing my gift, which makes it important. Reconciling is what God tells us to do. And that missing ancestor? That's a project I work on with my uncle, who is very sick. Time is running out.

Accomplishing those three things would not only make me happy, but also fit into the bigger picture.

2 comments:

Phoebe Jane said...

Completing 50,000 words for nanowrimo is a feat in and of itself (I only got to 11,000 words) I like your list in that you're focused on certain areas and trusting God will take care of the rest. Wishing you all the best this year.

God Bless.
Phoebe Jane

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Phoebe. Hey, that's 11K more words than you had before!